This is why I love being vegetarian | Stuff.co.nz

By Danielle Calder, Posted 22nd March 2015

I’m a vegetarian for ethical reasons, although I plan on becoming a vegan in the near future.

I became a vegetarian at 15, initially because I wanted to be unique: none of my friends were vegetarian, and I had heard that you lost weight once you went veggie. Well, I lost some weight, but once I discovered pasta I put it right back on!

As I got older, I became more interested in the ethical side of vegetarianism.

I don’t believe it is ethical to kill something for food when you can live without it. This is why I don’t eat free-range meat, as I still think the killing of the animal is wrong.

For me, it doesn’t matter how good the animal’s life was: at the end of the day, it still ends up being killed, and for me that’s not right. I am also concerned about the environment, particularly the damage that dairy farming has on water systems and rainforests.

I eat eggs from my parents’ four free-range chickens, so I do not give money to the egg/poultry industry at all.

The way I look at it is that an egg is an unfertilised thing that would otherwise go to waste, so I have no problems with eating them so long as they are from my parents and not the poultry industry.

I do drink milk, which I am not overly comfortable with, and I love ice cream and cheese. I’m not perfect, and I know that my money goes to an industry that also kills animals.

I do plan on becoming vegan soon. It’s just a case of learning about how to make nutritious vegan meals and working up the mental strength to say goodbye to Tip Top ice cream.

I’m perfectly healthy on a vegetarian diet. My iron levels have always been fine. I have mild arthritis and actually noticed an improvement in this once I stopped eating meat. It might have been a placebo effect, as I had read about the benefits of a vegetarian diet for arthritis before I made the change, but I’ll take a placebo effect if it means less pain.

My partner is a meat eater, so we usually just cook the meat separately. That’s even if he has meat: he’s from Nepal, so he is used to lentil and chickpea-heavy meals without it. I am trying to get him to eat more free-range meat, as I do believe that this is a more ethical choice than factory meat.

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